Rugby is a contact sport, football is a sport of contact. I’d say 98 percent of the time in football is direct communication – you see it coming.
Occasionally there will be a pass a shot from a bad angle you don’t see, but the sport is often built for direct contact to secure defenses and open gaps for the back.
Upland team’s major attacks in football are clashes, attempts to envelop players and send them to the ground are less likely. Look at how corners just flick their shoulders in front of opposing players.
There are many tackles on the shoulder, pulling the player down with his shirt. A form of a perfect settlement is a rare treat. The problem with football is that corners, even if the player only needs to carry the body over his head. You may see the injury rate drop a bit. But the game is set up so that players are blind multiple times with bumps and blocks.
Also, a lot of what makes the rugby league seem violent has changed over the years. The scrums were assigned to take all hits out of them. The ducks are cleaned. They really do pay attention to any effort against players from shoulder up.
The game is moving towards a more sporty style. As a stegosaurus advocate, this bothers me. But it certainly beats the days of becoming an offensive lineman in football with the most boring job in all sports.
In rugby, most players have the same weight. They usually have the physique of soccer players, as they are expected to run continuously for 90 minutes. You wouldn’t be like Vince Wilfork or JJ Watt if you had to run 90 minutes of a game.
In football, the problem is you have 350 pound guys tossing themselves in 200 pound ball carriers. And, because the movement is not continuous, the maximum speed is much higher.